A friend and I were talking recently about changing expectations. By now, we expected certain things in life to have occurred. Situations such as:
- The house paid for – free and clear
- Our children settled and happy
- A lifetime of marriage to draw on – the happily-ever-after dream (cue the Disney music)
- Plenty of retirement money
- Trips planned
- Good friends meeting regularly for coffee / tea / chocolate
- A certainty that our lives have impacted people / that we’ve made a difference in this world
- Blessings of the abundant life
Instead of reveling in the resolution of these expectations, we are instead experiencing:
- Financial struggles
- Bodies that betray us and hurt in weird places
- The solitude of living alone
- Friends lying in cemeteries
- Children struggling to find their way in an uncertain world
- Searching for a cheaper place to live / trying to decide whether to downsize and move or hunker down where we are
- Not sure our lives have meant anything to anyone
- The abundant life kind of fizzling out
Not such golden years. Promises unfulfilled. Dreams shattered.
So how do we find hope when the expectations have not come through?
Simple, yet hard. Stop looking at the outcomes. Instead, trust God Himself.
When the answers aren’t what we want to hear and don’t match up with our expectations, no one can figure out why. But it doesn’t help our attitudes if we focus on what did not happen. Gloom is not pretty.
Focus instead on what it means to believe in the great I AM.
I AM with you, no matter what the circumstances.
I AM stronger than the pain of what is happening.
I AM helping you through this mess, one day at a time.
I AM going to meet every need if you’ll just wait for me.
I AM still loving you, loving your children, even loving all the weird people who have hurt you.
I AM your ally, the one who will defend you to the end.
And when the days seem longer than 24 hours, play this video and keep holding on to hope.
©2018 RJ Thesman – All Rights Reserved
If you’re struggling to find hope, check out “Hope Shines” – encouraging nuggets for each day.
Thank you for the post Rebecca. Much needed. Prayers for you too.
Thanks, Susan. Stay cool !
Wow–interesting bits of truth for most of us. There’s a fairly new study, “What Keeps You Up at Night?” that sheds light on several of these–it calls them ‘fears.’ Offers sound Scripture and advice. Z
Good to know, Zeta. Thanks!
Thanks for a good serving up of realism. You’re so right, Abundant Life is found in a person not a place or in realized temporal dreams. A friend’s emails regularly end with the phrase, “Jesus is always enough”. Thank you for ‘making a difference!
Love that phrase, “Jesus is always enough!” Thanks, Jerry.